Will DW be the next Gibson (financial woes) in the future?

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Gibson files for bankruptcy to ditch electronics, focus on guitars

According to the press release "The Company's Gibson Innovations business, which is largely outside of the U.S. and independent of the Musical Instruments business, will be wound down." While the headphones are likely done, other elements like its Gibson and Epiphone guitars, as well as KRK and Cerwin Vega studio monitors and loudspeakers will continue on. Hopefully, that includes its digital recorder-embued guitar cable.
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
I braved the local GC today because I needed a cable. They has a nice little DW birch kit a couple months ago and it sold. Last time I saw it it was 4 grand. On the floor they had a nice natural maple kit. VLT racks and X shell kick and FTs for $3100, and a really nice 22,10,12,16 in exotic walnut for about a grand more.

Somebody's buying em.
 

Groov-E

Silver Member
I believe so too, but it wouldn't be plain old bacon, no. That's not how The Wood Whisperer operates. It would be 1000-year-old bacon that was found in a Romanian river, and Timbre Matched© too.
And genetically modified with overlapping vertical horizontal and diagonal layers of flesh so the meat and fat would alternate in a diamond pattern fashion.

Probably would not taste better, but once lacquered in a pekin duck manner and served in gold incrusted fine china that bacon would sell at a 500% premium.

**just having fun here, I would like dw to make me a nice 20-12-14 high gloss natural cherry/gum kit but since those are not tax-deductible on my part I fail to find any justification to actually get one.
 

sinmerchant

Junior Member
I think DW will be fine. John Good could sell bacon to a pig. While their drums are not my cup of tea, they make very high quality instruments, offer many custom features and finishes. It's rare that I go to a national level show and the drummer isn't playing DWs. I've often wondered how their endorsement deals work. Anyone know? Their stuff is really ubiquitous.
I believe so too, but it wouldn't be plain old bacon, no. That's not how The Wood Whisperer operates. It would be 1000-year-old bacon that was found in a Romanian river, and Timbre Matched© too.
 

DaleClark

Senior Member
Gibson's woes are not guitar sales related.

Gibson's woes is the company is highly leveraged; Gibson borrowed heavily to buy an electronics division which was not profitable, and outside the area of Gibson's expertise. Gibson had financed the purchase of the electronic division with bonds.

Had they not made a poor decision, they wouldn't be in this mess.

DW is a fraction of the size of Gibson.

While DW did purchase Gretsch, Gibraltar, Kat, Latin Percussion, Toca, and others, including Ovation Guitars, from Fender. Outside of the guitars, everything else is percussion related, and with-in DW's scope of making drums and percussion items.

While DW is no doubt highly leveraged to pay for purchase, my understanding is they don't owe corporate bonds.

It does remain to be seen how DW will pay back what it borrowed for their purchases, but it really night and day different situation with Gibson.

I wonder if Gibson was trying to become the "American Yamaha"?

The guitar portion of Gibson is profitable. Buying Onkyo, Teac, Steinberger, was a head scratcher. Gibson has owned Baldwin Piano for a number of years. Cakewalk DAW software (which had a good number of users) went defunct until recently.

Maybe ATV and snowmobiles were next on Gibson'd agenda
 

mkelley

Member
Nope, they are all the your local GC stores making them no money. Pretty killer strategy. :) Hardware wise, they have the market cornered, but I'd love to see stores carry more brands and varieties. especially the lighter stuff that isn't entry level.
DW already made their money. Guitar Center purchased the kit at a cost, raised the price to hopefully make a profit back to their own coffers. DW isn't selling to GC on consignment.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Gibson's woes are not guitar sales related.

Gibson's woes is the company is highly leveraged; Gibson borrowed heavily to buy an electronics division which was not profitable, and outside the area of Gibson's expertise. Gibson had financed the purchase of the electronic division with bonds.

Had they not made a poor decision, they wouldn't be in this mess.

DW is a fraction of the size of Gibson.

While DW did purchase Gretsch, Gibraltar, Kat, Latin Percussion, Toca, and others, including Ovation Guitars, from Fender. Outside of the guitars, everything else is percussion related, and with-in DW's scope of making drums and percussion items.

While DW is no doubt highly leveraged to pay for purchase, my understanding is they don't owe corporate bonds.

It does remain to be seen how DW will pay back what it borrowed for their purchases, but it really night and day different situation with Gibson.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I think we're pretty much on to the real thing here. As long as the people leading the business have a true passion for the product they'll find a way to make it work.

Fender was able to fix things after the CBS thing. Gibson might not be.

DW is involved with my favourite drum brand now and it seems so far that only good things are coming from it.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
I used to love black oyster until I saw a kit in a small venue with typical small venue lighting (lots of red and blue). It looked horrible! It was hard to tell what wrap it was until you got up close. The black/oyster contrast doesn't work well under those kinda lights. I have seen that wrap on bigger stages used by large jazz ensembles where there was a lot of white lights and they looked fine, and also outdoors, but otherwise they take on all sorts of odd characteristics of the blues and reds combos. After that I'd never want a black oyster.

And you're right they are promoted as the Fab 4 kits so it's a real wannabe-trip.

Same here..

But since there is a huge 'wannabee'-market out there is hard to blame them for that..
 
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oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..Every freaking Ludwig classic ( new) set I see in any store is the Ringo black onyx/ oyster or whatever its called Am i the only one sick of that finsh?..

Same here..

But since there is a huge 'wannabee'-market out there is hard to blame them for that..
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
Looking at a stores inventory really doesn't tell the whole story. Stores will display a few examples of product lines and then take special orders.

The fact that a store has the same items on display for weeks or even months only paints a part of the picture. You don't see the product that is being delivered that isn't on the shelf or floor.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
...ouch, that hurts!
Just trying to be funny. :)


Overall, I think DW will do just fine. Gibson has over-saturated themselves in the market and has done so for years.

For example, if you go to Musician's Friend and do a search for "Les Paul," you will find 130 different Les Paul electric guitars for sale. 130! (Granted, this probably includes Ephiphone as well, but still). I'm pretty sure that it would be safe to bet that the majority of those come in a variety of finishes. Keep in mind that this is only ONE model of Gibson guitars. This does not include any of their hollow-body electrics, SG's, Flying V's, Explorers, and many others. Oh yeah, they make a boatload of acoustics and basses too.

However, if you go to Musician's Friend and do a search from DW drums, you will only find 48 different drum sets (this includes not only Collectors but the others as well). Granted, some of these do come in a variety of finishes; however, I'll bet that MF only has maybe a couple (or maybe only one) of those DW limited drum sets. They simply don't carry the kind of inventory that Gibson does, and I'll bet they sell too. The point is that I don't think that they have over-saturated the market with their products.

While I know that there are a barrage of other factors to consider, just as an outsider's point of view, I think DW will be ok.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
If you see them at GC is because GC ordered/ bought them. Already paid for. All DW collectors drums are built to order. They don't mass produce.

FWIW, YMMV
That’s what I meant by “them”- GC. They obviously get a nice discount ordering as many as they do, but they sure aren’t moving many Collectors around here. They do sell a fair amount of the Performance series, but they usually have one set of those (or none because they sold) to three or four Collectors series that have been on high shelves for months. Can’t be good for the DW Collectors appeal, but can’t saying hurt DW any either. The only GC I’ve ever been to with any inventory has been San Diego. Not sure why this store is so different, but at any given time, they have had anything from the low end Tama all the way up to Starclassic Bubinga, different levels of Ludwigs, Sonors, Mapex, Yamaha, etc. it’s the only store I’ve ever been able to see a Mapex Saturn, let alone Black Panther series and the only time I got to play a Gretsch Brooklyn and USA Custom side by side.

Short of going to DCP or Memphis Drum Shop, I haven’t seen a store in the West with any selections. This GC does really well with moving mid to high end drums too.

Gibson marketing and management definitely hurt their brand, but I really feel GC has done the same for other brands. They have effectively sliced their own throuts and everyone’s just moving to buy online. If you can’t see it to play it and you don’t have to pay the local tax at GC, why wouldn’t you?

After John Good, DW will likely go the same way as Gibson unless they somehow do something different than other companies where the founder retires. Don’t think GCs helped them much though. Maybe John Good is waiting for them to go belly up, so he can buy them too. He already owns most brands they carry and could own the the final peg in the supply chain that way. That’s not intended to be anything against the man. He’s a sharp dude and a master marketer. Just sayin’.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Part of BDCs problem was that they were shocking to deal with. I had a problem with an early Pearl Eliminator pedal I got from there and they fobbed me off for weeks and couldn't be bothered to even try and sort the problem for me. I'd completely given up on them long before they went under.
Man I totally understand having gone in there regularly and never saw the staff move from the same spot.

I swear they're still there now!

I never bought anything other than heads. They had the R30 kit set up and for sale at an obscene amount
 

Prawny

Senior Member
Birmingham Drum Centre were the big casualties by me.
Part of BDCs problem was that they were shocking to deal with. I had a problem with an early Pearl Eliminator pedal I got from there and they fobbed me off for weeks and couldn't be bothered to even try and sort the problem for me. I'd completely given up on them long before they went under.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Under current ownership nope.

This happens when companies change hands multiple time and get run into the ground. (PREMIER cough, cough!)

Didn't a similar thing happen with Ludwig in the 90s and Rogers in the 80s?

The big stores are the ones in trouble, a lot of that stock get bought on credit and doesn't get sold and eventually the bank pulls the plug. It happened in the UK to a lot of stores, Sound Control and Birmingham Drum Centre were the big casualties by me.

The drum companies are still paid trade for their goods.

An interesting question would be whether DW make more money from PDP than their high end lines?
 

DaleClark

Senior Member
I can assure you GC drove that bus. They hammer their suppliers and demand deep discount deals (not reflected in retail prices) from the companies that get floorspace in GC stores. Not saying it wasn't a mistake, but it has more to do with what GC wanted and what discounts DW was willing to take.

And I agree - they'd sell a ton more Mapex and Tama units, but it could be those and other companies won't do the deals that GC demands.
Thats a good point. I never considered the buying power of GC. Yamaha and Roland must agree to GC terms....6 electronic drum sets out on full display. Acoustic are drums stacked high on shelf at my local GC. Except one tiny PDP wood hoop kit behind a drum shield.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
I can assure you GC drove that bus. They hammer their suppliers and demand deep discount deals (not reflected in retail prices) from the companies that get floorspace in GC stores. Not saying it wasn't a mistake, but it has more to do with what GC wanted and what discounts DW was willing to take.

And I agree - they'd sell a ton more Mapex and Tama units, but it could be those and other companies won't do the deals that GC demands.
 
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